You might have a carefree attitude this summer, but don’t let the family vacations and time off of school negatively impact your teeth. Instead, keep your smile beautiful with these summer dental care tips.
Drink More Water
Instead of reaching for sugary, acidic soda when you’re thirsty, make the right choice for your dental health and choose water instead. Drinking water washes away food particles and plaque-causing bacteria that can lead to cavities and bad breath. Tap water, in particular, promotes a brighter smile because it contains fluoride to strengthen your enamel.
Plus, staying hydrated reduces your risk of dry mouth. With adequate saliva production, your teeth benefit from a slippery, protective coating that prevents debris from clinging and acids from eating away at your enamel.
Drink Acidic Beverages Through a Straw
When you do indulge in soda, juice, or lemonade, use a straw to reduce contact with your teeth. Enjoy the taste of your drink, but don’t swirl it around your mouth. After all, you want to limit the amount of time acid and sugar linger on your teeth.
Sip on Tea
Green tea is full of antioxidants that promote good health. It can even suppress bacteria growth, slow down tooth decay, and help prevent gum disease. Drink tea to your heart’s content, but don’t forget to rinse your mouth out afterward. This is because, despite its benefits, tea can leave surface stains on your teeth. Your dentist can remove these, but it’s easiest to prevent them if you can by swishing with water after each cup of tea.
Eat the Right Snacks
It’s fun to chew on gummy candy, sip on sports drinks, and snack on starchy crackers and pretzels, but these goodies don’t do your teeth any favors. Smarter snacks include raw fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, and crunchy nuts and seeds. These tasty, nutritious snacks fill you up, fuel your summer activities, and help you maintain a healthy smile. Chewing on sugar-free gum after a meal or snack can also help remove food particles and prevent cavities.
Schedule a Dental Checkup
If it’s been six months since your last trip to the dentist, this summer is the perfect time to schedule a checkup. Fit it your appointment before your upcoming vacation, if possible, to reduce the chance of a dental emergency while you’re out of town. A dentist appointment is also beneficial before the school year starts this fall. Get any cavities taken care of before the hectic back-to-school season begins!
The experienced NYC dentists at Park 56 Dental are prepared to offer personalized, quality dental care for you and your kids in a comfortable, spa-like environment. We’ll help you smile bigger and brighter this summer as you enjoy making memories with your family!
To learn more about us, or to schedule a visit, please contact us at (212) 826-2322. If you’re new to our office, we’ll provide a consultation to ensure we can meet your dental care needs.
Does an ice-cold drink or cup of hot coffee sometimes make your teeth sting? Are brushing and flossing cringe-worthy experiences? If so, it sounds like you might have sensitive teeth. Here are some possible reasons for teeth sensitivity and what you can do about it.
What Causes Sensitive Teeth?
In healthy teeth, enamel protects the crown of your tooth, the part that sits above the gum line. Then, a layer called cementum protects the tooth root below the gum line. If these protective layers are damaged, teeth sensitivity can occur. Here are some of the most common causes to be aware of:
- Enamel erosion: If the outer protective layer of your teeth wears away, the sensitive dentin underneath is exposed. Enamel can erode as a result of brushing too hard, grinding your teeth, and eating acidic food regularly.
- Receding gums: When the gums move away from a tooth, it can expose the root surface, which may be temperature-sensitive. Receding gums may be caused by brushing too hard, grinding your teeth, or receiving inadequate dental care that leads to gum disease.
- Plaque buildup: If plaque forms on an exposed root surface, tooth sensitivity may increase.
- Cracked teeth: A chipped or broken tooth may fill with bacteria. When this enters the pulp, inflammation and tooth sensitivity may occur.
- Tooth whitening products: Peroxide and baking soda, two major contributors to teeth sensitivity, are common ingredients in whitening strips, toothpaste, and other dental products.
- Using a mouthwash with exposed dentin: Some over-the-counter mouthwashes contain acids that irritate exposed dentin and further damage this tooth layer. If you have enamel erosion, ask your dentist about safe products you can use.
- Recent dental procedures: Everything from teeth cleanings to crown placement to root planing and scaling can lead to temporary teeth sensitivity. This should disappear within four to six weeks.
How to Treat Teeth Sensitivity
Fortunately, there are treatments for sensitive teeth. The ones you pursue depend on what’s causing your sensitivity. Your dentist may recommend the following:
- Desensitizing toothpaste: The compounds in this product block sensory input from the tooth surface to the nerve in your tooth, reducing sensitivity. It may take a few weeks of daily use to see results.
- Soft-bristled toothbrush: Learning how to brush more gently using a soft toothbrush, especially when paired with desensitizing toothpaste, could garner effective results.
- Fluoride treatment: An in-office gel applied to your teeth may strengthen your enamel and reduce pain when exposed to hot and cold temperatures.
- Dental procedures: If simple measures don’t treat your sensitivity, your dentist may recommend surgical gum grafting, bonding, dentin sealers, crowns, inlays, or root canals to eliminate the problem.
Having sensitive teeth can be uncomfortable. Fortunately, the team at Park 56 Dental can help! Our preventative and general dentistry services can counteract teeth sensitivity so you can enjoy hot and cold food and drinks, and brush your teeth in comfort. To learn more, please call us at (212) 826-2322 today.